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SOG Dark Energy DE-01
FOURSEVENS Mini Turbo MKIII
Though you may think otherwise, torches can be handy in many different situations, so you shouldn’t let yourself be left without one when you most need it. That’s where the best EDC flashlight can be very useful because you always carry it with you.
Finding the best one isn’t that simple because you should take many different factors into account. Their size isn’t so big, because they need to be powerful, they are still pretty compelling, so don’t underestimate them.
Here I’ve set up a list with the best ones on the market right now, but let’s slow down a little and look at what makes an EDC tactical flashlight suitable for any users out there.
How to Choose the Perfect EDC Flashlight for You?
While you may think that an EDC flashlight is a flashlight, it’s just a tool that illuminates the surroundings, but if you feel that way, you are very, very wrong. A flashlight is a tool made up of many parts, each one significantly changing its purpose. So let’s look at what is so special about EDC flashlights.
When it comes to light, the lumens rating is the way you are going to determine how bright a particular every day carry flashlight is. Lumens are a measure of how much natural light is going to be able to pass through into your eye, so this type of measurement is as accurate as it gets.
This is a better measure than watts as different types of bulbs have different wattage requirements. As I’ve mentioned above, the higher the lumens level of light is, the brighter the light is going to be. On some products, though, you need to do a little bit more than look at some numbers to know how bright it is genuinely because 400 lumens on one every day carry flashlight may not light the same as 400 lumens on another model.
The reason why this happens is that some of these lights will say that they can shine at a maximum of 1,000 lumens, etc., and they do but only for a brief period in this maximum power setting. They quickly become overloaded with heat or power, so this size of the light isn’t equal to their real-life capabilities.
The amount of lumens that you will need is mostly dependent on the general use that you are going to have for it. Anything up to 100 lumens is going to give enough light output and beam distance to maybe look under your bed if you have lost something. Anything around 250 lumens will be just enough in almost any case, and anything 500 lumens will give you a very intense and bright beam for the situations where you need light.
For an EDC pocket flashlight, anything between 150 lumens – 300 lumens would be more than enough for most situations, with some models having more light than you can imagine. It’s always good to look for different modes that are going to help you amend to light to save battery while still giving you plenty of illumination, so don’t always look for the highest lumens level and then calling it a day.
Types of Bulb
When it comes to these types of bulbs, the majority that you will now see on the market are LED bulbs, and that isn’t without reason – they are every reliable, save you a lot of energy, and also if very high quality even in cheaper models. While incandescent light bulbs are even less expensive, which is why you still commonly see them in households, LED’s other advantages make it the bulb of choice for most flashlights.
One of the reasons for that is due to their low level of energy consumption. For the same amount of wattage as an incandescent bulb, an LED one will shine a lot farther and neither. So to sum it up, not only are they better performing but also a lot less energy-hungry, thus the flashlight doesn’t get so hot.
LED bulbs are also a lot more durable as they don’t contain a filament. That, combined with their much longer lifespan that is anywhere between 50 and 60 thousand hours, means that a single LED bulb will survive trough the whole EDC flashlight’s life.
While there are other types of bulbs available, just like the incandescent ones I’ve mentioned, LED is just the way to go. The slightly higher price tag is only a small sacrifice to and overwhelmingly better performance.
The battery is essentially the engine of your flashlight, so many different options affect the whole EDC tool significantly. A lot of them will use the typical types of AAA or AA battery, which have both middle of the road life and power outage.
There are other types of batteries available, which for a very similar, deliver a lot more power. These batteries are excellent at squeezing out the highest amount of lumens from their flashlight compared to the more traditional batteries.
There are also CR123 batteries available that have a respectable runtime while also provide a fair bit more amount of power than the standard triple or double a batteries. But do note that they come with a higher price too. In my opinion, though, this is the best choice when it comes to batteries.
When it comes to batteries, the manufacturer will also go to be an essential factor as there is a big difference between the lifespan of cheap batteries and the higher end batteries on the market. So while you can always shave a little bit of money from the flashlight itself, never go for cheaper batteries.
If you are going to carry a flashlight every day, then eventually it will start to rain, or it will in one shape or another encounter some water. Thus waterproofing is a must-have and arguably one of the best features out there because this is one of the things you never know when you may need. And let’s be honest, you don’t want to fork out a lot of money on an expensive flashlight just for it to stop working after a little bit of moisture.
The most well-recognized way to rate how effective is your waterproofing is the ‘IPX’ rating, which is a waterproof rating system that goes from zero to nine. An IPX rating of zero will mean that a device is immediately destroyed when it comes into contact with water, while an eight rating will say that it’s submersible at depths of over a meter. The nine ratings are reserved for more severe and heavy-duty equipment because it means that the tool can survive high pressure and high-temperature water jets.
IPX3 will make the flashlight just a tiny bit water-resistant, but when it comes to tactical flashlights, you want to be looking for at least an IPX4 rating. Anything above that will be able to offer increasing levels of resistance until IPX7, which is a fully waterproof rating where it can be submerged for at least 30 minutes in a depth of one meter.
Wherever you are going to be a waterproof rating will protect your flashlight wherever and whenever. In most instances, an IPX7 is just enough for an EDC flashlight, because even if a downpour catches you unprepared, you shouldn’t worry about it.
As you may know, the smaller a thing is, the lower it’s surface area, so that means it snaps in half harder, and it’s overall more stiff and durable. This is ideal for EDC tactical flashlights because usually, they are pretty small. With these types of compact and even most of the time keychain flashlight generally having a body made out of aluminum, they are incredibly durable and light.
That aluminum will usually give the device a good level of impact resistance and will also help it against scratches and abrasion. Another great thing for the flashlight is to have groves into the body to help with grip.
The lens also plays a significant role in the construction of the EDC flashlight as you want it to be able to let as much light through as possible but also be durable and resistant to scratches. Though they can be made out of either glass or polycarbonate, it doesn’t matter as much as it has the features mentioned above.
Overall these devices tend to have a very durable construction with O-rings in place to keep the flashlight watertight.
Being able to adjust the beam is an excellent feature to have, but it is usually only found on flashlights with higher maximum levels of lumens. This is because the focus of the flashlight could be changed on a lower lumen one, but it won’t have much of an effect.
If you do have this level of adjustability, though, makes the flashlight more versatile and able to give you a vast area in front of you, which is lit up or the ability to shine something from very far away. And you may think otherwise, but this is a beneficial thing to have.
Another great thing to adjust is the brightness of the light, as this could mean that the flashlight can be used to find a path if you are out there hiking at night or even reading a book at night.
Having this adjustable level of the beam is generally only found on the slightly larger models which are more pocket-sized than for a key ring, but are still considered EDC. Though these types of features aren’t vital and are mostly found only on torches, if you can have them, it’s going to make your flashlight a lot better.
Signaling or Flashing Capabilities
If you want a flashlight for everyday carry, then you probably want it because you know that it’s a vital piece of equipment in an emergency. Not everyone is going to buy one for this purpose alone, but you should always carry one.
A regular flashlight is always going to be useful in emergencies, if it has flashing capabilities, then it will be more even more of use because you can use it to get help.
A lot of flashlights will come with numerous different modes, which may include either a strobe or SOS settings. Both of them will be able to attract a sufficient amount of attention.
You never know when an emergency will occur, and you should always have something like this as a backup. Don’t worry if your flashlight doesn’t have these features and is just a simple one, though – you could always do it manually.
Everyone is going to have their preferences when it comes to storing their EDC flashlight because different people have different ideas of easy to access. Some people will want to put them into their pockets, while others will want them to be on their keys because they always carry them.
If you are going to be looking for a flashlight that will fit on a key ring, then you need to look for a torch small enough to not weigh down the whole ring while also having a sufficient way to attach it. Only the smallest devices out there have them because larger ones won’t be convenient to have in your keys.
One of the most useful features out there is a spring-loaded attachment. This would mean that the light could be attached to many different accessories, like a zipper or a pocket, but can also be reversed to be able to connect to a cap or a hat giving you hands-free access at all times to your tool.
Others don’t want any attachment feature at all and might prefer just a simple flashlight to drop into their pockets. For this particular reason, most spring-loaded attachments can be easily removed.
One feature which generally is determined by preference is where the switch is located in the flashlight. In most traditional flashlights, the button will be just under the head, but in smaller or more heavy-duty flashlights, they have many variations to this.
Another switch type is a button on the tail of the device, which is easy to switch on. It is very conveniently placed and can easily be clicked through the various modes until you have the one you want.
Another way of switching the lights on is with the head of the flashlight – it’s just a simple motion of twisting the head clockwise, and you are ready to go. There are even some rare cases where the whole head slides up and down. This is a very subjective much in the personal side of the spectrum, so you should choose the switch, which is the easiest for you to operate and feels the most comfortable in hand.
The Best EDC Flashlight on the Market Right Now
So what is the best EDC flashlight? Check out the five products below and see if you agree with our choices!
1. SOG Dark Energy DE-01
1. Watertight Sealed
2. Sturdy and Durable
3. Aerospace Aluminum
4. Good Grip
Mostly known for their tactical bladed tools and EDC knives, SOG is well educated in the field of making some heavy-duty equipment. And here we have all their skills being put into a great package with the EDC-friendly, self-defense focused Dark Energy DE-01 flashlight. It weighs just a couple of ounces, so it’s easy to use and lightweight enough to attach it to your belt with its pocket clip.
Even though it ‘s small enough to fit on your palm, it’s still rigid and well buildable sufficient to survive when used as a self-defense tool. This tooth – bezel flashlight is built from aerospace-grade aluminum.
So, it is durable while weighing only three ounces, has IPX7 waterproofing, and with a very high maximum level of lumens produces plenty of light so that it can shine bright even the darkest of places. We have a contender for the best flashlight EDC on our hands with this model.
- The flashlight has a well-known brand like SOG behind it, so you know it’s of great quality
- Its ultra-lightweight, clocking in at only a couple of ounces, so putting it on your keyring or in your pocket won’t be a hassle
- The whole flashlight is watertight sealed, so its sturdy and durable even in the most challenging of conditions
- The case is constructed from aerospace aluminum, which gives it even better heat distribution and rigidity
- The flashlight is a little bit too pricey
- It’s too bulky to be comfortably worn in your pocket
- After changing batteries there is a huge chance that you will lose your watertight seal
2. EAGLETAC D25C Clicky flashlight
1. Compact and Lightweight
2. Brightness – 405 lumen
3. Battery – 150 Running Hours
4. Pocket Clip
Here we have a flashlight boasting four output settings that range from one to 405 lumens, as well as seven different lighting modes. And what has all this versatility – the EagleTac D25C Clicky every day carries a flashlight, one of the most useful and high-quality EDC flashlights around. Its pocket clip is also another great addition to it’s compact and easy to carry design.
While it’s design makes it look a lot bigger than it is, in most cases, it can fit in your palm comfortably. But the small size doesn’t have any caveats with it, because it still has a runtime that can last up to one hundred and fifty hours, or six days, even at it’s brightest setting. In my opinion, this may be one of if not the best pocket torch on the market right now.
- It is very compact and lightweight, and with a pocket clip, carrying it around will be as easy as pie
- The flashlight has 405 lumens, so brightness won’t be a problem
- it can last 150 running hours or six days, even if you use it at maximum brightness, even with its small size
- The design isn’t particularly bright, it makes it look bigger than it is
- The clip is of very poor quality, and with poor customer service, it will cost you more than half the price of the flashlight to replace it
3. Fenix Flashlights FX-PD35TAC
1. IPX8 Waterproof Rating
2. Fitting Nicely in Hand
3. Aircraft-Grade Aluminum
4. Up to 1,000 Lumen
More significant than a keychain every day carry flashlight at 5.5 inches in length and a weight of around 3 ounces, this EDC must-have has the distinct advantage of fitting nicely in hand, unlike some smaller options that you’ll have to grip with your thumb and forefinger.
It’s very comfortable and easy to use. It also has six beam distance setting modes delivering up to 1,000 lumens, it’s made of aircraft-grade aluminum for strength and durability, and it’s IPX8 rated for water submersion, so it is capable of surviving in up to meter of water for an hour. Though I can’t call this model the best, it’s certainly an astonishing middle of range competitor.
- While it is a little bigger than most EDC flashlights, it manages to fit nicely in your hand
- The flashlight has industry-leading IPX8 waterproof rating, so even if you drop it in a lake, it won’t be a problem
- For the price and features that it offers, it manages to be the perfect middle of the road choice
- There seems to be a common problem with the button that regulates the level of brightness
- It doesn’t have very good heat distribution, so it will get hot very quickly and thus start to loose battery life pretty fast
4.FOURSEVENS Mini Turbo MKIII
1. Extremely Compact
2. Brightness Level of 700 Lumen
3. Pocket Clip
4. Watertight Sealed
Clocking in at about the size of a thumb, the Foursevens Mini Turbo MKIII is the very embodiment of “size doesn’t matter.”. Despite its abnormally small size, this portable, EDC torch offers up an illumination range of 0.5 lumens – 700 lumens across several settings — making it perfect for almost any situation, as well as those that demand a bit more power. And it still has a very practical pocket clip too.
It also has a save function so that you can turn it back onto the last mode used, and its lowest setting has an amazing runtime. Plus, it is water-resistant, so for an essential ring sized every day carry a flashlight, it is something. If you are one of the users looking for amazing performance in a small package, this torch should be your everyday carry companion.
- It’s extremely small and compact. being as big as the size of a thumb, while still being pretty powerful
- The flashlight haws an astonishing brightness level of 700 lumens, which can be brought down to 0.5 if you need
- Even with its small size, it still has a pocket clip and watertight sealed body
- Its small size makes it sometimes hard to operate
- The price is 15 dollars more than the preview model, but it doesn’t improve anything significant
5. Plight S2R Baton II
1. Brightness of 1150 Lumen
2. Excellent Grip
3. Pouch and Lanyard
4. USB Charging Option
An upgraded version of the Olight S2R, the Baton II offers plenty of significant improvements. The Olight S2R Baton II uses an upgraded TIR lens with a Luminus SST-40 LED bulb to emit a maximum of 1150 lumens for 2 minutes. Once the 2 minutes is up, the light will automatically step down to 400 lumens to help preserve battery life and to prevent overheating. The maximum setting can throw a perfectly balanced beam for 147 yards, even though it’s not for that long. The Olight S2R Baton II offers users five brightness levels, plus a strobe mode, so you won’t be caught unprepared in an emergency.
Coming in shorter and lighter than the original model, the Olight S2R Baton II has a better feel in hand, with more grooves giving an excellent grip. The light comes with two pocket clips, a blue and black, along with a pouch and lanyard for additional carrying options. Unlike most every day carry flashlights, this one is using a single 18650 lithium-ion battery that can charge faster than the original version.
The new model utilizes an MCC II magnetic charging cable that will connect to the magnetic tail cap for charging. The three-color power indicator light located underneath the side switch will alter you as to when the battery needs to be charged. The USB charging rechargeable battery has a runtime of up to 60 days when used in its lowest setting, and with the brightest level of lumens for up to half an hour. Though it may not be the best in its class, it offers amazing specs for its price.
- This flashlight is an improvement of the already great S2R Baton, at almost the same price, making it a hot new product
- Its powerful bulb has a maximum brightness of 1150 lumens, that can be used for only 2 minutes, but they are excellent if you are in a pinch
- The more grooves on the body, combined with its lighter overall weight gives it an excellent feel in the hand
- If you use it in its lowest settings, it can last you up to 60 days
- The flashlight is a little bit overpriced for its brightness and quality
- The clips are extremely cheaply made
So, finally, and let me tell you, it was a hard way putting all of these flashlights from best to most mediocre because not one of them is truly mediocre per se.
Be they a bigger bulkier design with a pocket clip, or something smaller in the realm of a keychain flashlight that you that is charged via USB charging, and they are all truly designed to be excellent EDC pieces of gear.
No matter to which group of users you belling, the best EDC flashlight isn’t the one with the highest price and the best spec sheet, it’s the one that is so comfortable and easy to use that you want to carry with you every day. So buy the one that you most like, because while this list is very objective, with this type of equipment, the choice is truly subjective.